A survey released by DuckerFrontier, reveals aluminium remains fastest-growing automotive material, emerging as a preferred metal for electric vehicles
A recent survey confirms aluminium is already the fastest-growing automotive material and is expected to grow to content levels of 514 pounds per vehicle (PPV) by 2026, up 12% from 2020 levels.
The survey, conducted by DuckerFrontier, analyses the latest information on material content for North American light vehicles from the full automotive value chain, including automakers and their suppliers, and credits aluminium content penetration increases to its growing use in vehicle closure parts, body-in-white parts and chassis applications in traditional vehicles, as well as the growth of electrified powertrain and battery electric vehicle (BEV) platforms.
Ganesh Panneer, chair of the Aluminum Transportation Group (ATG) and vice president and general manager for automotive North America at Novelis said:
“As consumer pressures and environmental challenges increase—so too does the use of automotive aluminium. This demand is accelerating as low weight, high-strength aluminium is helping automakers adapt to new mobility trends, and we’re bullish on the growth potential of the metal in the fast-emerging electric vehicle segment.” He added: “Automotive aluminium market penetration enjoyed year over year growth the past five decades and that expansion is expected to continue as far down the road as can be projected today. As electric vehicles become more widely available, greater aluminium use to extend range and help offset battery weight and cost will ensure consumers will still be able to choose high performing cars and trucks that are safe, fun to drive and better for the protection of the environment.”
Automakers will continue to increase the use of aluminium in new vehicles as the design evolution to multi-material cars, trucks and SUVs continues. According to the 2020 DuckerFrontier “North American Light Vehicle Aluminum Content and Outlook” report, aluminium flat-rolled sheet remains a key solution to replace heavier steels and help automakers achieve mass reduction goals. Doors represent the single highest net growth application of aluminium content per vehicle with penetration reaching 30% by 2026. Also, by 2026, aluminium hood penetration is expected to reach 81% and liftgates/tailgates reaching 44%. By 2030, total aluminium content is estimated to reach 570 PPV, a 24% increase over the next decade.
As electrification grows, the analysis confirms demand for aluminium extrusions and high-pressure aluminium diecast parts will grow due to increased use in applications like battery housings, motor housings and body structural components. Aluminium also continues to drive vehicle safety, with extrusions for crash management system (CMS) applications projected to increase 10% from 2016-2022.
Abey Abraham, Managing Director, DuckerFrontier said:
“The aluminium industry is keeping its foot on the pedal, developing solutions aimed squarely at addressing automakers most pressing needs to offset mass given added content and weight from new features, additional safety needs, and the move to electrification. Aluminium will record relentless year-over-year growth through 2030.”
Automakers continue to favour aluminium in an ever-changing industry climate as demonstrated by recent product launches, including the Ford Bronco and Jeep Gladiator, which both feature intensive use of aluminium closures and structural components. As the automotive aluminium sector thrives it remains vital to the nation’s manufacturing base and a healthy US economy. The aluminium industry invested or committed more than $3 billion to ensure increased automotive capacity in the US since 2013, and the industry is prepared to continue such investments in domestic manufacturing jobs as demand continues to grow.
To view the study, go to www.drivealuminum.org